Inhabitable Internet Spaces

The Internet constitutes an enormous electronic architecture that defines spaces without regard to physical structure. We navigate these spaces with browsers, moving from place to place with a click on a link. Internaut proposes that a physical architecture may be derived from the shape of the network and navigated with a first-person 3D game engine.

The components are coming together. I am currently working simultaneously on processing Internet structures into maps and modifying an open source version of the Quake2 engine from ID Software to be usable with this project. Ultimately these spatial realms will be inhabitable communally. As you wander the halls of the net you will run into people you know and people you don't. You will be able to talk to them or arrange a meeting with a friend at a web address.



This applet demonstrates the process of turning a network structure into a physical map. The nodes are pages connected by links.

The links act as springs, drawing the graph into its lowest energy state, a configuration best suited to physical navigation.

The cells themselves are generated as a Voronoi diagram, bounded by a convex hull around the set of sites.

Try pulling on the nodes to see how the map reacts.

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Some of this code is adapted from the Graph Layout applet by Sun Microsystems.





These images demonstrate the navigation client.

Wall textures are taken from the content of the page, and doors to the other pages to which it links.

The image on the top is an plan view of the entire map.

Click here for a movie of a user navigating the Aesthetics + Computation website.